Now, I’m not just talking about writing here. I’m talking about all rejections—because at this point I consider myself something of an expert. In fact, I have enough rejections to paper all the walls of the house I’ll never afford.
And it sucks.
I’m not going to sit here and pretend it’s all roses—that each rejection brings you closer to your inevitable success—because that logic doesn’t help when you’re reading your 200th rejection email and it feels like the world is falling in. No matter how nice the email’s worded.
What you shouldn’t do, though, is let that bitterness eat you alive. So, here’s some tips from one hopeless reject to another. Yipee!
1. Give yourself a grieving day
Being rejected always leaves you feeling like a pair of old pants. I know you can’t jump back on the horse straight away. If you can, what’s your secret and what are you taking?
2. Vent (privately)
Privately being the operative word here. PRIVATELY!!! You can obviously talk about rejection on social media (hello!) but don’t deface the person who rejected you. It doesn’t make them look bad it reflects solely on you. And the blacklist is not where you need to be right now. But, do find a friend to vent to, it helps massively.
3. Do NOT reply to the person who rejected you
(Especially not with nasty things!) No-one likes a sore loser. Don’t be one. I live life by the motto ‘don’t be a dick’. Replying to an agent or hiring manager telling them they’re a bitch puts you well into dick category and only reaffirms their decision to reject you.
4. Figure out how it went wrong.
Don’t sit around moping about how no-one understands you, and no-one can see your genius, it’s not flattering (trust me, I’ve been there). Harsh truth: the world owes you nothing. Earn it. Figure out how you can be better. This isn’t easy, owing to all job applications now stating ‘we cannot offer feedback’. Trust me, it’s frustrating as heck, but you can do something. Attend conferences (scholarship programmes are usually available), get your CVs and cover letters looked at professionally (use free career people!), get friends and family to look over your work and offer honest feedback. Always keep working to improve yourself.
5. DO NOT GIVE UP!!
No matter how many people tell you to keep going there will always be that voice in your head telling you to stop. Saying things like “what’s the point?”, “I’m worthless.”, “I should just quit.” DON’T LISTEN TO IT. Every single successful person took years and years to get where they are (unless they were rich…). Overnight success does not exist—it’s the media who like to pretend it does. Work harder, be kind, and keep going.
You never know how close you are to your dreams. Why would you quit now?